Here’s the news in brief: Nigerians who own television sets will soon have to pay “annual content access fee” to improve content
and infrastructure of the country’s broadcasting stations.
The fee is similar to the TV licence paid in the UK ─ which is used to fund the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
As a result, the BBC does not accept advertisements in the UK because it is financed with tax payers’ money.
Government-owned broadcast stations in Nigeria run on subventions as well as advertising revenue.
Nigeria currently operates a radio licence regime which is considered ineffective.
However, the federal government said it would introduce “content access fee” to replace radio licence fee ahead of Nigeria’s migration to digital terrestrial television broadcasting by 2015.
Information minister Labaran Maku made this known at the opening of the extra ordinary meeting of the National Council of Information (NCI) in Abuja.
Maku said the planned content access fee, which was currently undergoing final adjustments, was expected to get the nod of the federal executive council before the migration.
He said that government and other stakeholders would leverage on the new technology to make the new format more effective than the archaic radio licence fees format.
Maku explained: “For a long time radio licences have not been collected and in other countries the public broadcast services are run from fees collected on broadcast content.
“But unfortunately in our country, the existing constitutional provision has made fee collection less effective. “Now, we are undertaking a new format.
We are taking advantage of the digital technology and looking beyond sending people to go from place to place to collect fees for broadcast content.”
According to him, under this new regime, anyone seeking access to television content has to pay an annual content access fee.
The minister outlined some of the advantages of the new broadcast content fee collection regime to include improved financial capability for stakeholders “to improve content and upgrade infrastructure”.
He said this would help the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission and other stakeholders have access to adequate funds for sustained upgrade of their infrastructure for effective service delivery.
On the NCI meeting, Maku said Nigeria was at crossroads to either transit moothly or risk being cut-off from the rest of the world by June 2015 when the global migration deadline takes effect.